Not Everybody Was Impressed With Ben Simmons’ Big Shot
PHILADELPHIA, PA (973espn.com) -- Philadelphia 76ers fans have been waiting for this moment for years now. The highly anticipated Ben Simmons three-point shot has been the topic of the last two years at this point, as the Sixers' guard refused to take the shot.
The narrative quickly became that Ben Simmons simply cannot shoot a long-range jumper. Then, we found out that Simmons can actually shoot the ball. He's just unwilling because of having a low-level of confidence considering the microscope he's under as a first pick.
Over the summer, the situation continued to build up. As Simmons' personal trainer in the offseason teased the 'new and improved' shot with videos on social media, the topic grew even larger throughout the offseason. And just last week, Simmons became frustrated with a reporter when the simple question came about after training camp.
At that point, Simmons realized there's only one way to make this thing go away. He had to shoot the three-point shot in a game setting, and he absolutely had to make it. On Tuesday, during the Sixers' first preseason game with the Guangzhou Loong-Lions, Simmons had a wide-open look before the half. So he pulled up, and in the words of Mike Scott, he "cashed out."
As expected, the crowd at the Wells Fargo Center erupted in cheers and gave Simmons a standing ovation. It was a monstrous moment for Philly, but just a routine jump shot for Ben Simmons, who has been working on that moment for years now. While the moment is still being discussed the following morning, Sixers players and coaches have already forgotten about it as they have seen that shot over a thousand times.
"He made a shot," Sixers' head coach Brett Brown said, following the walloping of the Loong-Lions. "I think the whole thing is so overblown. I think in general it's so inflated, the attention, I'm just not going to react over it, I really mean that -- he made a three."
Clearly, the Sixers head coach saw nothing new from Simmons on Tuesday, who has been working on that shot for the last year or so. Simmons' teammate Josh Richardson had the same feelings towards the situation as his head coach did.
"For us, it's not like a huge deal," Richardson said. "He has been making them in practice for the last few weeks. I have only been up here practicing with the team for two weeks; I've been seeing it. But it was dope." Although Richardson was hardly impressed with the actual shot itself, he was surprised by the crowd's reaction to the moment.
"I was wondering why the crowd was standing up and everything, I looked at the situation, and I looked at the clock, and I was like, 'Ah, OK.'" Richardson hasn't been around for the Philly frenzy over Simmons' three-point shot, but he got to experience it first-hand on Tuesday, getting a taste of what Philly can become over social media narratives.
As for Simmons, he barely wanted to talk about it. As he has worked on that shot for a while, the star point guard never once believed he couldn't actually shoot the ball. So while he did have an 'I told you so,' kind of moment, he didn't feel the need to rub it in.
Hence the reason why he didn't really want to discuss the play after the game. "Time went down, I had the ball so I took the shot." Remember, Simmons said last week "If it's open I'll take it." Well, it was open, and he took it.
While the crowd attempted to encourage Simmons to shoot it, he downplays that fact by saying, "I didn't really hear anything." The masses will be held over by this for a little while, but it will likely only be a matter of time before the fans begin calling for Simmons to shoot more in the regular season. For now though, Simmons has the 'monkey off of his back.'